R.I.P. Joan Rivers (June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014)

Can we talk? There have been way too many celebrity deaths lately. We lost another comedy legend yesterday – Joan Rivers. Personally, I think she was hysterical and edgy. One thing I admired about her was that if she made a controversial comment or joke, she never back-peddled or apologized, unlike most celebrities these days. She stood by her statements. She could be really mean towards celebrities, but she also made fun of herself just as much. Here are some examples:

“I said Justin Bieber looked like a little lesbian – and I stand by it: he’s the daughter Cher wishes she’d had.”

“Most babies are not actually attractive … (They’re) kind of like Renee Zellweger pushed up against a glass window.”

“Why should I cook for my husband? So he can tell a hooker I make a delicious cake?”

“I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.”

“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”

Joan Rivers was a fixture on late night television – especially on The Tonight Show during the Johnny Carson years.
In 1986, the upstart Fox network gave Rivers her own talk show – The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers. The show aired from 11:00-12:00 at night, putting her in competition with The Tonight Show. The fact that Carson heard the news from Fox, instead of Rivers herself, cost them their friendship. They never spoke again, and she was banned from The Tonight Show until Jimmy Fallon took over this year. As you can see from this appearance, she was still funnier and edgier than most comedians out there today.

And here is Joan Rivers interviewing one of my favorite wrestlers of all time – Rowdy Roddy Piper – on her own talk show The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers. This was leading up to Wrestlemania III.

Unfortunately, her show did not last too long. The network wanted to fire producer Edgar Rosenberg, who also happened to be Joan Rivers’ husband. Rivers challenged the network, and they ended up firing both of them. Three months later Rosenberg committed suicide.

One thing many of us ’80s kids remember Joan Rivers from was her role of Dot Matrix in the classic Mel Brooks movie, Spaceballs. Here is a classic clip from the movie:

And one more notable ’80s performance was her role as Eileen in The Muppets Take Manhattan. Here is a scene of Joan Rivers trying to cheer up Miss Piggy after she had a fight with Kermit.

Sadly, at age 81, Joan Rivers was still at the top of her game, and we no longer have her. But she has left us a legacy of some incredible laughs.

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